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Dean Hamer

Scientist, Filmmaker, and Gay Rights Activist

Scientist turned documentarian Dean Hamer is an Emmy Award–winning filmmaker and New York Times Book of the Year author with a long history of communicating complex and controversial ideas to diverse publics. He formed Qwaves with partner Joe Wilson to produce insightful and provocative documentaries about often overlooked social issues. Their films were part of…

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Scientist turned documentarian Dean Hamer is an Emmy Award–winning filmmaker and New York Times Book of the Year author with a long history of communicating complex and controversial ideas to diverse publics. He formed Qwaves with partner Joe Wilson to produce insightful and provocative documentaries about often overlooked social issues.

Their films were part of the pioneering days of citizen-generated content on the Internet and cable television, won numerous awards including the PBS Independent Lens Online Shorts Festival and Videomaker Documentary Competition, and have been used as outreach and educational tools by many community and educational organizations.

In 2004, the Qwaves team returned to Wilson’s small hometown of Oil City, Pennsylvania, to direct and produce the Sundance-supported, Emmy Award–winning PBS documentary Out in the Silence, which premiered at the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival at Lincoln Center to great critical acclaim. Through more than 700 grassroots screenings across the country, this film has become part of a national movement to open dialogue, counter school bullying, and support fairness and equality for all.

In addition to his film work, Hamer is the author of several best selling nonfiction books, a consultant for BBC and Discovery, and a sought-after lecturer and frequent guest on TV documentaries and news shows. His discovery of the “gay gene” sparked a national debate, and his research on the genetics of personality, addiction and spirituality have revolutionized our understanding of human nature and what people can and cannot do to change themselves.

Hamer and Wilson live on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawai’i, where they are working on the new film project KUMU HINA.

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